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Showing posts from April, 2007

[Interview_1]Tabitha Suzuma

Emerging novelist Tabitha Suzuma studied French Literature at King's College in London and has taught English as a Foreign Language. She has also worked in I.T., and has done some translation work as well as worked as a Year 1 teacher in Slough. She wrote her debut novel, A Note of Madness while she was teaching full-time. In 2003 Suzuma left classroom teaching and divided her time between writing and peripatetic teaching. This gave her time to write three more novels for teenagers and young adults, From Where I Stand (a psychological thriller), Without Looking Back , and A Song for Jennah (a sequel to A Note of Madness ). She is currently working on her fourth novel. She says she decided she wanted to be a writer when she was about six years old. "I remember discovering the magic of books at that age and saying to my mother 'I want to be able to do that.' I then found an exercise book and started writing my first story." The authors she read as a teenag

Interview _ Emma Lee

Leicester is home to some of the most exciting emerging writers in the United Kingdom. One of these is poet, short story writer and novelist Emma Lee, who has had poems nominated in competitions that include the Forward Best Poem Prize. Other poems by Emma Lee have been published in anthologies, magazines and webzines and broadcast on BBC Radio 4 . Her short stories are proving to be just as significant. "Restoration," was runner-up in Writing Magazine's Annual Ghost Story Competition while "First and Last and Always," another of her short stories, is appearing in Extended Play , a new anthology of music-inspired pieces. Emma Lee talked about her concerns as a writer. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? It chose me. I spent a lot of time alone as a child — I wasn't lonely, it's just a reflection of the circumstances I found myself in — and frequently made up stories as entertainment. Later I filled exercise books writing my stories

[Interview] Lilian Masitera

Lilian Masitera is a woman of many talents. She is a lecturer-in-charge in the Mathematics Department at Belvedere Technical Teachers College in Harare, a novelist, short story writer and poet. In 1989, while teaching at Queen Elizabeth High School in Harare, she formulated a way through which the vertical angles of cones could be calculated. The formula was accepted as original by the University of Stanford in the United States and is now widely used by high school students. In 1994, she was among a group of women who published the first anthology of poems and short stories by Zimbabwean female writers. The anthology was described by local critics as "a landmark in the history of Zimbabwean literature ." In 1997, she received a merit award from the International Society of Poets for her poem, "Enter the Teetotaler," which also appears in Militant Shadow (Minerva Press, 1996). In an interview which was published in Mahogany (November/December 1999), Lilian

[Interview] David Bedford, children's author

Over the past six years, David Bedford has published 30 books, with translations in 20 languages. The books range from best-selling picture books such as Big Bear, Little Bear , to The Team series of short comic novels for 7 to 11-year-olds about a struggling football team that enlists the help of a professor and her football-playing robot. Bedford has a Ph.D. in Gene Cloning from the University of East Anglia and is a member of the National Association of Writers in Education (NAWE) and the National Centre for Language and Literacy . He spoke about his writing and the direction it is taking. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? When I first became an avid reader, around the age of 16, I read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and decided to have a go myself... much later, while I was a scientist at Stanford University in the U.S., I began writing seriously, with the idea of making a career out of it. Who would you say has influenced you the most? I mainly write

Interview _ Haroon Moghul

Haroon Moghul graduated from New York University with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Philosophy and is currently pursuing a Ph.D at Columbia University. He sits on the editorial board of Islamica Magazine and is a regular contributor to Eteraz.org . In 2004, his blog, Avari-Nameh won the Brass Crescent Awards for Best Writing, Best Post and Best Overall Blog. The blog is concerned with issues of Muslim identity, politics and society. Moghul went on to receive the Brass Crescent Award for Best Thinker in 2005, for his contribution to the discourse on Islam. In addition to writing essays, short stories and poems, Haroon Moghul is the author of two novels: My First Police State (2003), a self-published travelogue; and The Order of Light (Penguin India, 2005). In a recent interview, he spoke about his writing and his concerns as a writer. What is your latest novel, The Order of Light about? What sets it apart from the other things you have written? The book is ab

[Interview] John Baker

Crime writer, John Baker 's novels include Poet in the Gutter (1995); Death Minus Zero (1996); King of the Streets (1998); Walking with Ghosts (1999); The Chinese Girl (2000); Shooting in the Dark (2001); The Meanest Flood (2003) and White Skin Man (2004). In addition to writing crime and mystery novels, Baker is a book reviewer for Shots magazine and the Tangled Web . He is also a member of the Murder Squad , a collective of crime writers who use workshops, panels, readings and lectures to promote the genre. In a recent interview, John Baker spoke about his writing and his concerns as a writer. What drives the action in your novel, White Skin Man ? White Skin Man is a political novel about racism, those who suffer it, those who perpetrate it, and those who stand and watch. The novel pits ex-con, Stone Lewis and his friends against an intelligent and ruthless white supremacist and a gang of dangerous skinhead no-hopers. The research for White Skin Man was different

Reading, Writing and Self-publishing

Since September 2006, the Leicester Review of Books has been conducting a survey to find out what readers and writers think of self-publishing and self-published books. Among other things, we are asking writers to tell us their experiences of self-publishing. What benefits have they received? What are some of the disadvantages or challenges that they have experienced? We are also asking writers to talk about the reasons that motivated them to by-pass the literary agent and the mainstream publisher and publish their books themselves. And, which is equally important, we are asking for readers’ experiences of reading self-published books. How do the books compare with those that have been published by mainstream publishers? Are they just as good or are they inferior? If they are inferior, why is this? Wikipedia defines self-publishing as “the publishing of books and other media by the authors of those works, rather than by established, third-party publishers.” The encyclope

Interview _ Siobhan Logan

The Poetry of Mass Movement Siobhan Logan is one of the most exciting emerging voices in British literature. Some of her work has appeared in A Slice of Cherry Pie , a poetry chapbook anthology edited by Ivy Alvarez and inspired by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks . The anthology is published in the United Kingdom by The Private Press , and in the United States by Half Empty/Half Full . Beginning in 2005 with “ Black Dog ,” and followed this year by “The Dead Walk Box,” her stories have received commendations in the annual Leicester and Leicestershire Short Story Contest for two years in a row. In the same year her poem, “The Builder,” was selected for Body and Soul , a poetry anthology published by United Press . She was also awarded the Merit prize for another poem, “Window,” in the Nottingham Open Poetry Competition . Siobhan Logan has also been invited to work with the visual artist Jackie Stanley on an exhibition on the theme of Aurora Borealis for the Physics Department of Leices

[Interview] James Buchanan

James Buchanan works as an attorney and writes gay romance novels and stories in his spare time. His most recent works include the novels Twice the Cowboy and Cheating Chance . He has also published a novella, My Brother, Coyote, and a collection of short stories, Bittersweets: A Taste of Halloween . His fiction includes mystery, thriller, horror, fantasy, historical and science fiction. He spoke about his writing , his concerns as a writer and the influences that drive his writing. When did you start you writing? I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing. I was pretty sick as a kid, in the hospital a lot and at a time when kids' TV was two hours in the morning and PBS at noon. I started making up stories to entertain myself. At first it was picture books and then poetry and short stories. I was on the literary magazines in high school and college. There was a black period in my life, while I was trapped in an abusive relationship, where I didn't write

[Interview] Irving Karchmar

Irving Karchmar has an M.A. in Philosophy from DePaul University in Chicago, and has worked on such varied magazines as Hustler and the American Bar Association (ABA) Human Rights magazine. Between 1977 and 1985, he published Fantastic Films magazine . In 1986, Karchmar won the Trade Magazine Press Editors Award for his work with the ABA's Barrister magazine. In the same year, he published his first book, It Was Mostly You , a collection of poetry. Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Tale is his latest work. The novel has since been translated into Russian; Bahasa; Turkish, as well as into Malayalam, the language of the Indian state of Kerala. Irving Karchmar spoke about his writing and the work that went into the novel. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? I have always been an avid reader, and began writing poetry in my early teens. From there it progressed to working for magazine publishing companies as an editor and writer, continuing to write poetry, and after a

[Interview] Emily Maguire

Emily Maguire divides her time between writing and teaching English. Her articles on sex, religion, culture and literature have been published in newspapers and magazines that include The Observer , The Sydney Morning Herald and The Financial Review . Her first novel, Taming the Beast , has been translated into ten languages. In 2006, the novel received a special commendation in the Kathleen Mitchell Awards . In the same year, the novel was also placed on the EDS Dylan Thomas Prize for Fiction longlist . Emily Maguire spoke about some of the things that motivate her as a writer. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? I've always written, but I decided I'd try to make a career of it only after working in crushingly boring office jobs for a number of years. What would you say are your main concerns as a writer? I'm interested in challenging people's moral assumptions. Most people absorb certain ideas as children and never question or investigate

[Interview] Kadija Sesay, literary activist

Kadija Sesay is founder and publisher of SABLE , a literary magazine that focuses on new writings by writers of African and Asian descent. She is also the series editor for Inscribe, an imprint for Peepal Tree Press . In addition to this, Kadija Sesay edits anthologies. So far, the anthologies she has edited include: Six Plays by Black and Asian Women Writers ; Write Black, Write British: From Post Colonial to Black British Writing ; IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain ; Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro Wiwa , and the forthcoming, Dreams, Miracles and Jazz: Adventures in New African Fiction . She spoke about her writing and the work she is doing with writers of African and Asian descent. How do you find the time to do all the things you are doing and still be able to write? At the moment, I am doing too much. But I don't like abandoning things that aren't complete unless it's for a very good reason. I'm trying to phase some things